La Souterraine, Limousin: tourism & sightseeing
Visit La Souterraine (Limousin, France)
La Souterraine is a traditional town in the Creuse department of Limousin
The following is a guest article for francethisway...
An undiscovered gem in the middle of France, that is how I would describe La Souterraine! Surrounded by stunning villages on a rolling landscape which could only really be likened to The English Lake District but without all those crowds fighting for a space. With its 5000 inhabitants it is the largest town in the west of the Creuse.
Exploring La Souterraine
You can’t help but be entranced by the beautiful town square filled in the summer with boxes of trailing geraniums whose colours lights up the granite of the Notre Dame church dating from the 11th Century and it is a popular stopping off point for the pilgrims going to Santiago Di Compestello.
This square is the heart of this medieval town. Entering through the 13th Century Porte St Jean you can feel the History of this ancient square.
Pop into the café du Marche and borrow the key for a not to be missed birds eye view of the town and surrounding countryside, its well worth the climb!
On a Thursday and Saturday morning early, as the first heat of the sun is glinting onto the ancient church windows, you will find many locals purchasing their fresh fruit and vegetables for the day in a flurry of coloured baskets, nodding heads and the aroma that fills the air from the flower and plant stall. So stereotypically French but isn’t that why we visit these areas?
For a cup of the best coffee going visit Café Chaud just off the main town square on the high street, popular with visitors and locals alike. The tables topple out on to the street under beer branded brollies where you know the gossip of the day is going to take place and it’s entrancing to just sit and watch the town go about its business.
A high street snakes through the town with its delightful choice of local shopping offering a great choice of every day essentials and gifts to take home for the family.
At the end is La Gare with its TGV station on the main line running from Paris to Toulouse and it even has a once daily connection to Charles De Gaulle airport. Here you can jump on a train to the historic city of Limoges or even further afield to Brive La Gaillard. So although this is a sleepy historic town the world is your oyster for travel options.
Attractions close to La Souterraine
Close to the station for a really interesting visit pop into La Cirque Valdi where a miniature circus comes to life before your eyes, open every day during July/August and weekends at other times, one for adults and children alike.
Just 2kms out of La Souterraine you will find the Etang Du Cheix where the rays of the sun bounce off the shimmering water, a life guard is in place for your safety during July and Aug and its shallow waters and roped off area edge by the sandy beach are the perfect place to relax with the family.
Sitting proud above the lake you will find La Promenade café/bistro a perfect spot to while away the morning over a coffee or even a simple afternoon snack of chips and fondue… delicious! You can also fish here if you fancy it but make sure that you obtain a permit first.
Another few kilometres up the road you will find the remains of the recently restored Tour de Bridiers which I believe dates back to the 13th Century.
Here you will find a beautiful medieval garden which is well worth a walk around and if you like a good festival then the Fescue Medieval must go down on your list.
This festival brings 350 actors from far and you can indulge in delicious Medieval offerings or just simply come to watch the night come alive with the stories lighting up the night sky against the tower walls all in all A great family entertainment show.
Within 25minutes of La Souterraine you will also find some other wonderful spots including Lac Chambon up by Eguzon, with its tantalizing choice of watersports, a chute for the children into a plunge pool and a safely roped off area with a floating platform that will entertain from young to old.
There are far too many places to mention in one article but one thing is sure - pick La Souterraine for your next holiday destination and you will not be disappointed, come see for yourself!
You can find more local travel ideas in the Limousin guide.
Map of La Souterraine and places to visit
Visit near La Souterraine with France This Way reviews
La Souterraine is classified as a recommended place to break a long journey (village d'etape)
Address: Souterraine, Guéret, Creuse, Limousin, 23300, France || GPS: latitude 46.2374, longitude 1.4862
Plan your visit to La Souterraine, Limousin
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Bessines-sur-Gartempe: village d'etape (17km)
- Jardin-arboretum de La Sédelle: remarkable garden (20km)
- Saint-Benoit-du-Sault: most beautiful village (24km)
- Eguzon-Chantome: village d'etape (24km)
- Lac de Saint-Pardoux: site of natural beauty (27km)
- Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe Abbey: heritage site (30km)
The French version of this page is at La Souterraine (Francais)